by Kevin Alexander | 25th September 2015
The Exo GP-1 GoPro housing unit on Kickstarter features a compact camera form factor, built-in viewfinder, cold shoe, & other accessories GoPro users might find beneficial. There are many accessories for the GoPro that help to increase production quality on these little cameras, such as drones, sliders, and stabilizers. But what about a simple housing unit to give it the form factor of a more traditional camera? Well, there is a Kickstarter campaign to develop just such a product. But the question is, will the Exo GP-1 be a serious option for professionals, or something more appropriate for the average consumer? There are a couple of features that make the Exo GP-1 worth mentioning for pro shooters. First, the housing unit has a built in viewfinder. While not electronic, it does allow you to perform simple tasks like framing a shot without having to use a Touch BacPac. Also, it has a cold shoe allowing you to attach accessories such as a handle for low-angle shooting, microphone, or even an iPhone mount to monitor and control functions on the GoPro. There is, however, a shutter release button on the top of the housing unit which allows the camera to be operated without an iPhone or other remote control. The manufacturer is also developing a set of filters that attach to the front of the unit, such as neutral density or polarizers. It would be interesting to see how much those neutral density filters are able to reduce the shutter speed. What about the Exo GP-1 may not be useful for pro shooters? Well, while the unit does feature a standard 1/4″ tripod mounting thread, GoPro has its own separate tripod mounts that are much cheaper. So, if you benefit from some of the other features then having a tripod mount as well might be appealing. But if all you need is a tripod mount there are other options. We like to highlight products in development like this that might be of use to professionals, and even to up and coming independent filmmakers on a limited budget. But to be perfectly honest, there is one major negative aspect about this product – the price. If the campaign is successful it is projected to sell for $185 USD. Given its list of features that seems a bit high, especially considering that’s just over 1/3 the cost of a Hero4 Black. However, if you are interested in exploring the Exo GP-1 further visit their Kickstarter page (please note that, on the Kickstarter page, the pledge amounts listed on the right are in New Zealand currency, not US Dollars).Read more
GoPro just announced the introduction of its new entry-level camera, the GoPro Hero+ LCD, which is the first GoPro offering with a built-in touchscreen. This is not the next generation of the Hero4, which shoots up to 4K video, it’s the new version of its entry level camera that shoots up to 1080p60, which is usually fine for the average user (non-professionals). Having a built-in touchscreen on a GoPro is a nice feature considering how fiddly operation can be without a screen, and also a bit of a guessing game of what’s going to be in shot (unless you check via the Wifi connection on your phone or tablet). The so-far optional touchscreen is drawing quite a bit of power though, and I don’t expect it to draw less power on the new version – so be advised it’s better to turn it off when you don’t use the screen, it can give you so much more running time out of one battery if you operate the camera without the screen. GoPro also added a trim feature to the camera, which is nice for casual shooting and allows you to trim and tag shots right on the camera. Considering the size of the screen, again, this will be a bit of a challenge to do accurately, but for casual non-professional shooters it’s definitely a “nice to have”. The new GoPro Hero+ LCD will be available for a mere $299 from B&H, shipping starts in July.Read more
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